Home Improvements – Window Types And Frames Explained

Frame Materials

Since the frame can account for as much as 25% of the total window area; it should be at least as well insulated as the glass. Several different frame types are available.

Solid Wood and Clad Wood

Solid wood frames are a good choice from an energy standpoint. The colour choices are unlimited but wood does require regular re-painting inside and outside.

Clad wood frames are protected on the exterior with a covered of pre-painted aluminum or vinyl. Clad frames are more expensive than plain wood but eliminate exterior painting. Claddings must be well designed to prevent water from becoming trapped behind them.

Aluminum

Aluminum frames are durable, and good designs are available for residential windows, aluminum conducts heat rapidly. To prevent condensation and frost from forming on the frame, the frame and sash must be equipped with well-designed thermal breaks.

It is difficult to judge whether an aluminum frame is equipped with a good thermal break. One thing you can do is ask people who have lived with the brand you are considering whether they have experienced any condensation problems.

If a metal window frame has a CCMC number, it has passed the CSA A-440 standard test for condensation resistance. Be particularly wary of inexpensive aluminum replacement windows.

Vinyl

Vinyl frames provide good insulation and do not require painting. However, some manufacturers reinforce the vinyl with metal, which can decrease the frames insulation value. Wood reinforcing is preferable.

Fibreglass

Fiberglass window frames are a recent innovation available from a limited number of custom manufacturers. Fibreglass frames will hold their shape permanently and will not warp, shrink, rot, bow, dent or twist.

Air Leakage

If you are going to the expense and trouble of replacing windows, make energy efficiency one of your most important considerations. I talked about draftproofing in an earlier article, so I will focus on air leakage here.

There are some major air leakage areas in the basement. After construction the sill plate can shrink away from the concrete foundation and leave you with a wind chill factor. Leakage in the header area wastes money and can make the floors upstairs chilly.

Let’s not forget the attic. Care should be taken to seal around all the openings in the attic floor, such as ceiling light fixtures, plumbing stacks, exhaust fans and chimney chases. Otherwise warm moist air can escape into the attic, where it can condense and cause moisture damage. Before leaving the attic remember to weather-strip the hatch and latch it snugly.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Extreme air sealing will make power ventilating a necessity. Care should be taken to enable all power exhaust systems to have adequate replacement air inlets.

It’s Just That Easy!



Source by Shell Busey

What You Should Know Before You Hire A Home Improvement Contractor

Home Improvement Contractors (HIC) and Home Improvement Salesman (HIS) are required by law in almost every jurisdiction in the United States to be registered and licensed. Licensing procedures are generally done by Municipal or local agencies of the respective State. For example, HIC and HIS are licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs in New York City.

As you might be aware, many of these Home Improvements Contractors and Salesmen are “fly by night” operators who misrepresent and fraudulently swindle millions of dollars from innocent home owners every year. Many of whom run and operate their scams out of their Vans, Trucks and SUV instead of a physical business address. Many years ago, the home improvement trade was referred to as the “Tin Men” industry where high powered salesmen sold aluminum sidings to homeowners with over 500-1000 per cent mark ups in many cases. Many of those same homeowners ended up with huge second mortgages, mechanic liens and foreclosures in many cases against their properties.

If you are a homeowner making plans to renovate or improve your properties, these are some tips on how to select or chose the right Home Improvement Contractor for your next project. First and foremost, ask HIC and HIS for proof of license, business card showing address, phone number, website, email addresses, etc. Their licenses should be imprinted on business cards. Next, ask for references or testimonials. Try to get at least 3-5 references and make sure not only to call them, but go over and look at the work that was done first hand. Visual inspection is always crucial in deciding on a project. Most importantly, get at least 3-5 written estimates from other HIC/HIS and compare prices. It is never recommended to sign a contract on the spot with any of these high powered salesmen. Take time out to think about the quote or estimate, compare prices and most importantly, call your local municipal or agency to verify that the HIC and HIS are legitimate. It is also a good idea to find out if the HIC you are contemplating to do business with carry what is called a Home Improvement Trust Fund. This is a fund that each HIC is required to pay into so if a homeowner gets scammed, he or she can seek restitution directly from the Agency that licensed the HIC or HIS. Last but not least, try not to give a deposit during the execution of contract. Give yourself that 3 days cancellation right that you are entitled to, so you can think about the transaction or offer. If in any case you are required to give a down payment or deposit, give a very small deposit (less than 10 per cent) if possible. Always keep in mind, never give more than you can afford to lose. If the HIC or HIS is legitimate, they will not ask or insist on getting a deposit up front. They should be credible enough to have accounts/credit with Suppliers such as Home Depot, Lowes, etc., to get materials delivered to your property. Beware of HIC or HIS who desperately seek huge deposits up front. Some of them will demand that you write the check in their names or give them cash. Do NOT do it. That is the first sign to detect an illegal operator. You should write the check to the Company or use a credit card. If they refuse, you should show them the door or call the Police.

In conclusion, let me recommend that you seek a progress payment plan with your Contractor. In other words, you pay them as they go along based on your approval, and most importantly, the Municipal Building Inspector’s approval. You do NOT want to pay a Contractor until or unless the Inspectors give a green light certifying that the work is done professionally and in accordance with local building codes. Ask your Contractor to allow you to hold back at least 10 per cent of the final payment, or better yet, the total contract price for at least 60-90 days after completion, so as to make sure that the work was done correctly. Just imagine getting a roof done for example, and only to find out after a heavy downpour that your roof leaks. Many Contractors do not come back to repair their shoddy workmanship when they get paid. Hold back some money! If you financed your project through a bank or third party lender, get that finance company involved. Make sure that they do a visual inspection of the job that was done and also sign off with the job before they release final payments to the Contractor.



Source by Patrick Pearce

The Importance of Regular Home Improvement

Home improvement, by definition, is making changes to one’s home by making improvements on the house’s looks. Home improvement is usually done by professional contractors, handymen, and even the house owner himself. Home improvement is important because real estate’s value appreciates more if a property is well-maintained. Home improvement is seen by many as unnecessary cost. However, losing value of a real estate is usually caused by neglect in a property’s maintenance. Therefore, in the long run, regular maintenance is crucial for the property’s value to appreciate.

Regular home improvement jobs and renovations will surely make your current living conditions more favorable. People do not easily notice that some areas of the house need improvement. In the long run, regular maintenance will reduce the serious structural damages to your property. It is also important to note that there are different maintenance schedules for different areas of your house. For instance, plumbing should be checked monthly. Ovens, heating systems, smoke detectors, and the like should also be checked monthly to prevent unfortunate disasters. The garden area should be maintained regularly and should undergo rigorous maintenance every four months. This is to prevent insects and termites infestation which can cause significant damage in infrastructure. The landscape of a house should also be in good appearance to help preserve your property’s value. Refrigerators should be checked every three to four months. Check for faulty or loose wiring and avoid energy overload. The roof, on the other hand, should be checked at least every six months. Check for shingles and leaks and take care of them right away. Watch out for blocked gutters as this can lead rainwater to go inside your house. If your house is made mainly of wood, have a regular termite exterminator team visit your house.

Aside from these standard areas in the house that need improvement, remodeling or renovating is also a good idea. It can also add value to real estate. Remodeling can be as simple as changing the paint color in your living room or laying a different color of carpet in your bedroom. Something this simple can make significant changes in your house’s ambience. Renovating can be as major as tearing down the common wall of two rooms to make them one big room. Tearing down walls creates a bigger space which can be used for many purposes. Additional extensions can also be done. Additional space that can be used as garage space is useful. Home improvement tasks that require massive construction should be done by professional contractors. Make a list on what you want changed inside your homes and consult with a team of contractors. This way, you will have an idea on the costs that will be incurred as well as the extent of the repairs and improvements you can do.

Home improvement is important because essentially, it is considered taking care of your home. Aside from the additional value it gives your property, preventive maintenance and remodeling is always good to decrease future damages in your property.



Source by Jaxson Smith

Even Up The Score With The Right Auto Insurance Premium Tips

Some things that can affect your insurance costs are in your control; others aren’t. A higher deductible will make your insurance costs. The information below will give you in finding ways to get the answers to lowing your cost on auto insurance.

Most states have laws that require you to carry appropriate auto liability insurance for drivers. You need to be aware of insurance policies you are required to have. You will break the law if you drive uninsured.

TIP! It is a common misconception that the cost of auto insurance automatically drops as the driver reaches 25 years of age. However, the truth is that rates slowly decrease from the time a driver turns 18 years old, as long as he or she maintains a clean driving record.

You can buy additional insurance beyond the legal requirements for your state. Even though these options will increase your premium, the peace of mind they will give you will be worth it. Uninsured motorist protection is a means to protect yourself from drivers who do not having insurance.

Think about what type of insurance coverage is needed. There are a many insurance options available for you, but most of them aren’t right for you. If you have a history of accidents, you should include collision coverage in your policy.

Carpooling and public transit can save you money on your auto insurance.Insurance companies are very happy with responsible and driving less miles is one way to show them.

TIP! Insurance is based off the type of vehicle you have purchased, whether it is a car or truck. You may have refined tastes and want something luxurious, but the insurance bill will reflect this choice.

When purchasing car insurance, be sure to get quotes from several different agencies. Rates vary dramatically from one company to the next. Get new quotes each year to ensure you always have the best rate. Make sure these quotes are for a similar amount of coverage as last year.

You do not want to be without car insurance, since accidents can and do happen at any time.

You will want to consider this seriously as it will increase your policy price.This is also offer protection if your car is hit by a motorist who has no insurance.

Insurance companies are not all different. If you don’t like the first quote you get, be sure to check out several competitors as they all have different prices available.

Conversely, whenever these things are removed from your record, the lower your insurance costs.When they go away, you may want to get some updated quotes from insurance companies.

Remove any other drivers from your insurance that do not drive your vehicle anymore. If other drives are on your plan, consider removing them in order to save some money on your premiums.

TIP! Carpooling and public transportation are great ways to lower your insurance costs. Insurance companies will reward you for being responsible by lowering your insurance rates.

Always try to remember the costs of insurance before purchasing a car. Keep in mind that cars are viewed favorably by insurance companies. You must factor in this expense when deciding which car you are purchasing a vehicle.

If you have any outstanding traffic or parking tickets, you should make sure you have no unpaid fines. Insurance companies look at your driving record when they determine how much they are going to charge you, so you want to make sure any outstanding fines are paid up. This is morally correct and it also improves your insurance premiums.

As was noted above, it is possible to change your auto policy in ways that will lower its cost. Your location, your driving habits, and how responsibly you drive are all under your control. By educating yourself on these factors, you can bring your insurance down to a price that you can happily live with.

How to Start a Profitable Home Improvement Referral Service

Home improvement referral services are cropping up from New York to California. They are taking the time to do the legwork to find reputable and reliable contractors and these businesses are reaping profits from good work.

It really doesn’t take much to start. A home improvement referral service business takes only a little money and not more time than a regular 40 hour a week job. They can actually start making money within the first year of business.

The first thing to consider is what types of home improvement businesses your will refer. This can include gutter cleaning and replacement, remodeling, building additions, fencing, lawn maintenance, and many others. Remember, all though you may like to paint a client may not like it or have the time. Therefore, no business should be overlooked.

Once you have an idea of the types of contractors for your referral service business, you will need to call the local, county, and state government offices. Get the regulations and requirements regarding licensing, bonding, business registry, and insurance for each type of contractor. This is the first step to building your list. Any contractor that does not meet government regulations should not be on your referral list.

By knowing these requirements and using them, your home improvement referral business will gain credibility with your clients. They will know that if the contractor doesn’t meet these requirements, they will not be on your list. It makes the client feel more sure the job will be completed professionally and correctly.

Another way to ensure creditability of your referral service business is to only look at contractors that are recommended by their past happy customers. But this is not the end of the screening process. Recommendations are not enough.

Once a contractor is recommended to your home improvement referral business, you need to check out his or her service. Talk to them, explaining your referral service business. Many contractors will give you the needed information happily. Ask to see their licenses, bonding information, and insurance to ensure they are current and up to date. Ask for a list of services they provide and the cost for these services. Finally ask for references you may speak to.

Now you have gotten your contractor referral list started. While working on creating this list, you should have started thinking about a name for your referral service business, advertising, office area, office equipment, and ordered a phone line for the business. You may want to use a computer right away, but an index card or file system could work just as well and for a fraction of the cost, until your company grows. Keep in mind that as your company grows, the office space, office equipment, and referral list system will probably need to become computerized to save time and money.

Since your referral business is going to begin locally, check with local newspapers and periodicals to see if they would be interested in doing an article about your business. Make some flyers and ask local hardware stores if you could leave some there to advertise your service. You may also want to send letters to realtors announcing your business, they can be great advertisers for you.

Make your services free to the people calling into your business looking for referrals. Many home improvement referral businesses charge the contractor anywhere from 6% to 15% depending on the size of the project. You put the customers in touch with the contractor, and upon completion of the project, the contractor pays you a fee.

Advertise that no contractors pay you to get onto your referral list. If clients or contractors ask how they get on the list, explain to them the only way for a contractor to get on the list is for a customer to recommend them. You may want to explain the whole screening process to let the person know the exact qualifications the contractors need to have before being accepted.

A referral service business can expand easily and rapidly. Once your business starts to grow, create a business plan to set goals. Decide how much you want to expand and consider starting franchises in other locations or expanding the list to include contractors that were not included originally. This is your home improvement referral service business and you can take it wherever you want.



Source by Randy Wilson

What Are Some Simple DIY Home Improvement Ideas For Beginners?

If you are a home owner, with a certain amount of involvement, patience and creativity doing DIY projects for your house can be a very rewarding and cost effective experience. One of the most exciting aspects of owning a home are the vast number of changes that you can keep incorporating in your house to increase its value and looks. And when it comes to home improvement projects, it is not always essential to hand over every task to a professional.

So if you are a home owner and are thinking of simple and easy ways to begin DIY projects the following list of ideas will be surely helpful to get you going:

o Indoor and outdoor painting – One of the most easiest and effective way to give your house an instant facelift is to paint it yourself. Painting a home is one of the simplest DIY tasks as well as an inexpensive one. All you have to do is to choose colors that complement your rooms as well as the exteriors of your home. An important point to keep in mind while painting your home is to keep all the flooring, woodwork, switchboards well covered before starting your task.

o Creative woodwork – Though woodwork and carpentry requires practice as well as skill one can always begin with a simple task such as building a bird house in the garden or your porch area. You can look up a simple birdhouse design and include a bird bath as well as a feeder which will be sufficient to keep your home bright and chirpy with your winged guests.

o DIY garden projects – Your garden area is one the best places to do home improvement tasks which can give your whole residence a beautiful look. From mowing your lawns to pruning and weeding you can include a fountain, tree benches, hammocks as well as wind chimes and gravel paths.

o Exterior lighting – Lighting can beautifully enhance the exterior appearance of your home. You can experiment in diverse ways like putting up Victorian style lamp posts at the entrance or creating beautifully lit corners in your garden area.

o Repair work – Another great way to begin DIY home projects is to take up minor repair works such as electrical repairs and plumbing. For this you would need to invest in a good tool box as well as read up about home repair basics in order to perform your task safely and successfully.



Source by Fiona Livnat

Tax Strategy Problem – Home Products Universal

Your client, Home Products Universal (HPU), distributes home improvement products to independent retailers throughout the country. Its management wants to explore the possibility of opening its own home improvement centers. Accordingly, it commissions a consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study, which ultimately persuades HPU to expand into retail sales. The consulting firm bills HPU $150,000, which HPU deducts on its current year tax return. The IRS disputes the deduction, contending that, because the cost relates to entering a new business, it should be capitalized. HPU’s management, on the other hand, firmly believes that, because the cost relates to expanding HPU’s existing business, it should be deducted. In contemplating legal action against the IRS, HPU’s management considers the state of judicial precedent: The federal court for HPU’s district has ruled that the cost of expanding from distribution into retail sales should be capitalized. The appellate court for HPU’s circuit has stated in dictum that, although in some circumstances switching from product distribution to product sales entails entering a new trade or business, improving customer access to one’s existing products generally does not. The Federal Circuit Court has ruled that wholesale distribution and retail sales, even of the same product, constitute distinct businesses. In a case involving a taxpayer from another circuit, the Tax Court has ruled that such costs invariably should be capitalized. HPU’s Chief Financial Officer approaches you with the question, “In which judicial forum should HPU file a lawsuit against the IRS: (1) U.S. district court, (2) the Tax Court, or (3) the U.S. Court of Federal Claims?” What do you tell her?

Home Products Universal (HPU) is a distributor of home improvement products to retailers nationwide. The management of HPU wants to explore the possibility of opening its own retail centers. HPU hired a consulting firm to study the feasibility of expanding into retail sales. The consulting firm billed HPU $150,000 for services rendered. HPU deducted the charge on its current year tax return. The IRS disputed the deduction saying that since the cost is related to entering into a new business, the cost should be capitalized. HPU’s management contends that since the cost is related to HPU expanding its existing business, the cost should be deducted. The management HPU has considered legal action against the IRS. The Federal Court in HPU’s district has ruled that if a company expands from distribution into retail sales that the cost of the expansion should be capitalized. The Appellate Court ruled that in certain circumstances switching from product distribution to product sales is considered entering into a new trade. In a separate case involving a taxpayer from another circuit, the Tax Court ruled that the cost of expansion should be capitalized. In considering legal action against the IRS, HPU’s Chief Financial Officer has raised the question of which judicial forum the lawsuit should be filed: the U.S. District Court, the Tax Court, or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

The appropriate forum for filing the lawsuit against the IRS would be the U.S. Tax Court. The U.S. Tax Court, established in 1942, has national jurisdiction and hears only tax-related cases. In considering its lawsuit against the IRS, HPU would not want to file its lawsuit in U.S. District Court due to that fact that the company distributes products to companies nationwide. Each state has at least one U.S. District Court and the courts are independent of one another. Due to this fact, the decision made by the U.S. District Court in one state may not apply in another state. Since HPU distributes products nationwide and wants to expand nationwide, the company would want the case to be heard in a court that has national jurisdiction.

The U.S. Tax Court specializes in handling tax disputes that occur before the Internal Revenue Service has made an assessment of a formal tax. HPU can decide to file their lawsuit in another court forum. However, the U.S. Tax Court is the only forum where HPU can have its case heard without having to pay the amount in dispute. If the case was tried in the United States Court of Federal Claims or a U.S. District court, the tax would have to be paid before the lawsuit could be filed. The Legislative Branch of the United States government makes the U.S. Tax Court unique and singular. By having the case tried in the U.S. Tax Court, the management of Home Products Universal can have the company’s CPA’s represent them in court even though the CPA’s have no legal training.

U.S. Tax Court is a court of national jurisdiction and its rulings are uniform for everyone regardless of their place of business or residence. The Tax Court is not bound by the decisions of the U.S. District Court or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims even if the U.S. District Court has jurisdiction over the taxpayer. Cases in the U.S. Tax Court are decided by judges, who are experts in the field of tax law, without jury trials. Judges in the Tax Court are appointed by the President and serve terms of 15 years. The U.S. Tax Court is more relaxed in comparison to other formal courts which helps facilitate dispute settlement more cooperatively.



Source by Linda Kinyo

Shrewd Tips To Help With Auto Insurance

Many consumers feel learning the fundamentals of auto insurance is hard to do. In truth, research and understanding make it much less confusing.

Every company has their own way of calculating your risk level and premium rates. You will find the policy that is most affordable and best suited to you by consulting with several competitors.

TIP! Do not pick the first insurance company you come across. All companies use some type of formula to calculate the premium.

Cut back on how much you drive every year to save some money on your premiums. Most insurance companies will actually decrease the amount of your premium if you drive less.

Make sure your license clean.If you do have citations or accident reports on your record, check with your insurance company to see if attending traffic school, which will lower your rates.

Avoid letting your coverage lapse to help keep your policy rates low. You may experience breaks in coverage easily by moving from one insurance carrier or policies. Your insurance company will raise the rate charged once they discover these lapses.

Try to ride buses or joining a carpool. Insurance companies appreciate their customers being responsible clients.

You will pay less if you have just one driver for a particular vehicle.

When you are shopping for car insurance, be sure to get quotes from a number of different companies. Rates vary drastically in the next. Get new quotes every year to ensure you always have the lowest premiums and out-pocket-costs. Make sure these quotes are for a similar amount of coverage as last year.

TIP! Make sure to research insurance costs when you are purchasing a car. Your insurance agent can tell you what vehicles have the best premiums.

It is not a good idea make your insurance in one lump sum each year rather than paying monthly basis.Your auto insurance company may add three to five extra dollars to your bill. These fees can become significant over time. Adding another payment to your monthly bills can also turn into a nuisance.The fewer payments you have to worry about, the more money you save.

Consider removing some coverage items from your insurance policy that you no longer need. For instance, if your car is an old model or simply not worth much, you may not need to pay for collision insurance. You can save a considerable amount of money by eliminating unnecessary coverage. You may also look into the necessity of your comprehensive and liability coverage.

Get rates from different insurance companies before you decide on which one to get for your car. Chances are you’ll need to look around to find the best rates possible.

Talk to your own insurance agent before switching to another company.

Always consider the cost of insurance before purchasing a car. Auto insurance companies can be less expensive on safer automobile. You must factor in this expense when deciding which car you are purchasing a vehicle.

Consider paying your insurance at one time. There are many companies that charge you a fee for paying in monthly payments.

For instance, some companies will reduce your rate if you successfully complete a driving course following a ticket or accident.

Auto Insurance

Almost anyone can benefit from the tips listed here. These tips can help you to get the best deals on auto insurance for the coverage that you need. You want to be sure to find auto insurance that fits your needs but does not cost an arm and a leg. The information presented here should serve as a guide.

Top 10 Methods for Advertising Your Home Improvement Business

People often ask us the same question: “What’s the best way to advertise my Home Improvement business and gather leads?” We’ve compiled a handy list of the 10 most useful tools to advertise your business and see results.

1. Build a Good Online Presence

For what may seem like an obvious necessity for most, some companies still don’t value the importance of a good website. While most companies do have an online presence, it may not be attractive or user-experience optimized. A good website should convey the businesses’ goals, experience, qualities, and services in an easy to read way. There should be a blatant call to action, and sufficient information for the viewer. If the potential client can glance at your page and get all the important information needed, you are that much closer to reeling them in.

 

2. Search Engine Optimization

Many people think that SEO is solely related to building links and advertising your website link. A large part of search engine optimization is related to the way your page is set up. Are you taking advantage of meta keywords and titles? Are you using headers properly? Does your site have a large amount of unique content optimized for targeting certain keywords? These are all important things to consider.

3. Craigslist

Craigslist is a great way to advertise your services. You can hire a designer to create a small ad for you to embed into your Craigslist post, or simply use HTML to format a nice, easy to read, eye-catching advertisement. Re-post as per Craigslist’s guidelines and keep your business’s name out there.

4. Adwords

Google provides a great PPC (pay-per-click) advertising system which will target related websites that use Google Adsense to display your ads. You can target your chosen demographic, choose how much you’d like to pay for every click, and modify the appearance of your ad. They offer text ads, image ads, and rich media ads (flash, animation).

5. Social Media

These days social media is becoming the leading the way for advertising and creating a “friendly” relationship with your clients and fans. Create a Fan page on Facebook, establish a Twitter account, or create a blog. these are all great methods to attract your customers.

6. Blog Commenting

Find blogs related to your industry. Search them out, and post meaningful, relevant comments in the comments section. Be sure to add a link to your website, with a keyword that you’d like to target in the search engines. Slow and steady is the key to seeing results; keep at it on a daily/weekly basis and in due time you’ll see results.

7. Local Advertising

If your business is based locally, an ad in a local magazine or newspaper is a great option. Some companies provide direct mail advertising, which allows you to localize your advertisement in a demographic of your choice.

8. Content is King

Creating and publishing unique content will provide your website visitors with an interesting read, a potential link-back, and will improve your chances at getting picked up by the search engines. Google is beginning to heavily penalize websites with unoriginal content, and content of poor quality. Don’t get cut by the search engines. Keep your content interesting, unique, and greatness will follow.

9. Word of Mouth

Sometimes in these technological days we forget the importance of word of mouth! Don’t ever underestimate the power of a good recommendation. Treat your customers with respect and handle their job with excellence and you just might get the good word passed on.

10. Physical Ads

Physical advertisements such as billboards, bus benches, and other sign-age are often expensive, but they are generally high-profile and attention-getting. If you have the marketing funds available, give it a shot and see how it works. Create a marketing campaign and if the results are lower than you expected or needed, try another route.

While there are many methods that businesses use to market themselves, these are the top 10 ways to achieve positive results in this ever-advancing technological age. Try these steps for yourself and watch your business rise to success!



Source by Kevin Iamburg

Garage Heating – Practical and Affordable

A tурісаl two car garage rерrеѕеntѕ approximately 20% оf the usable space in аn average home.  In addition, thеrе аrе сurrеntlу over 40 million ѕіnglе family rеѕіdеntіаl gаrаgеѕ in thе U.S.  But thе fact іѕ, garages are ѕіmрlу thе most under-utilized ѕрасеѕ оf thе hоmе, especially durіng thе wіntеr mоnthѕ.  Whу?  Thеrе mау bе аnу numbеr оf reasons, but оnе of the most оbvіоuѕ іѕ that gаrаgеѕ аrе tурісаllу left cold during thе wіntеr, mаkіng them uncomfortable to uѕе for any оthеr рurроѕе thаn раrkіng саrѕ аnd ѕtоrіng tools.

Wіthіn the раѕt 10 years that nеgаtіvе vіеw оf thе garage hаѕ сhаngеd drаmаtісаllу.  Clіmаtіzіng thе garage hаѕ bесоmе muсh more than an аftеrthоught.  In fасt, Insulating аnd рrоvіdіng some type оf heat source in the garage hаѕ become a рrіоrіtу for mаnу homeowners.

“There іѕ a push аmоng rеѕіdеntіаl building contractors tо offer thеіr customers the орtіоn of рrоvіdіng gаrаgе heat to the new hоmеbuуеr”, ѕауѕ Mаtt Wоrkmаn, оf Infra-Red Prоduсtѕ Supply, Inc., lосаtеd in Drареr, Utah.  “In fасt, whеn gіvеn the орtіоn bу thе buіldеr, thе homebuyer wіll almost аlwауѕ сhооѕе to hаvе thе contractor insulate thе garage аlоng wіth thе rеѕt оf the hоmе during the construction phase.   In addition, whеn gіvеn thе орtіоn, the homebuyer wіll аt lеаѕt орt fоr a gаѕ line connection and/or thе nесеѕѕаrу еlесtrісаl connections tо hаndlе a hеаtіng appliance  – wіth the іdеа of hаvіng a heater іnѕtаllеd later on.  Nоw mоrе оftеn thаn еvеr, a garage hеаtеr іѕ іnѕtаllеd durіng the fіnаl ѕtаgеѕ оf hоmе construction.  It’ѕ an amenity hоmеоwnеrѕ wаnt аnd аn еxtrа рrоfіt іnсеntіvе fоr the buіldеr.”

“Thеrе аrе numеrоuѕ рrасtісаl rеаѕоnѕ for hеаtіng the garage” states Mr. Workman, ” including mесhаnісаl mаіntеnаnсе, frееzе соntrоl, hobby, rесrеаtіоn (table tеnnіѕ оr excercise), pet comfort, wооd working оr simply tо be аblе to сlіmb іnѕіdе a wаrm саr оn a bitter cold day.  Fоr men mоrе than women, thе garage is a sanctuary – a рlасе to get аwау, tіnkеr аrоund аnd dо mіnоr repairs.  Fоr wоmеn аnd ѕtау at hоmе mоmѕ, it саn be a hаvеn fоr еxсеrсіѕе оr simply a рlасе tо ѕеnd thе kіdѕ tо bоunсе a bаll оr рlау gаmеѕ.”  Mаnу hоmеоwnеrѕ even go tо grеаt lengths to mаkе thе gаrаgе fееl lіkе thе dwеllіng ѕрасе оf the home bу іnѕtаllіng rесеѕѕеd lіghtіng, сlоѕеd cabinet ѕtоrаgе аnd еvеn a sink.  Pаіntіng thе wаllѕ and flооrѕ аnd аddіng a little dесоrаtіng tоuсh can аlѕо mаkе thе gаrаgе a mоrе inviting – a place whеrе anyone wоuld wаnt to ѕреnt more time.

For еxіѕtіng hоmеоwnеrѕ аѕ wеll, thеrе seems tо bе an іnсrеаѕеd іntеrеѕt in upgrading and іmрrоvіng the “livability” оf thе garage.  One reason іѕ thаt hоmе рrісеѕ have rіѕеn sharply асrоѕѕ thе nаtіоn, mаkіng a mоvе іntо a larger hоmе іmрrаtісаl оr unоbtаіnаblе fоr mаnу fаmіlіеѕ.  Rather thаn mоvіng uр to larger hоmеѕ, many choose tо ѕtау put аnd mаxіmіzе the uѕе оf thе ѕрасе іn thеіr existing home.  In thеѕе cases, a ѕmаll іnvеѕtmеnt іn upgrades to thе gаrаgе іѕ quite practical, еѕресіаllу whеn соnѕіdеrіng the соѕt of a nеw mоrtgаgе аnd аѕѕосіаtеd costs оf rеlосаtіng.  A hеаtеd, climatized gаrаgе саn рrоvіdе just thаt lіttlе еxtrа rооm tо ѕрrеаd оut аnd mаkе thе garage uѕеful уеаr-rоund.

Onе оf thе mаjоr concerns реорlе might have with hеаtіng thеіr gаrаgе іѕ соѕt.  Thе gооd nеwѕ іѕ thеrе аrе numеrоuѕ ways tо hеаt a gаrаgе tо fіt аlmоѕt аnу budget.  Oрtіоnѕ іnсludе gаѕ forced аіr (unіt hеаtеrѕ), еlесtrіс forced air, dіrесt vеnt wаll hеаtеrѕ, іnfrа-rеd tubе hеаtеrѕ and vent frее hеаtеrѕ.  Prісеѕ саn range from $450.00 tо $2,500.00(іnѕtаllеd), depending uроn gаrаgе ѕіzе аnd thе type of heating appliance.  (The аuthоr of thіѕ article ѕtrоnglу rесоmmеndѕ an appliance thаt іѕ CSA approved fоr rеѕіdеntіаl uѕе.  Pоrtаblе propane or kеrоѕеnе hеаtеrѕ іn аn attached garage аrе nоt ѕаfе, еѕресіаllу in thе рrеѕеnсе оf gаѕоlіnе саnѕ, ѕоlvеntѕ аnd оthеr рrоduсtѕ that may роѕе a fіrе hаzаrd ѕhоuld thеrе bе a ѕріll оn thе gаrаgе flооr.  A реrmаnеnt hеаtеr mоuntеd hіgh оn the wаll or ѕuѕреndеd frоm the ceiling оffеrѕ the bеѕt ѕаfеtу аnd рlасеѕ thе hеаtеr out of the wау оf vehicles аnd реорlе passing thrоugh).

One оf the mоѕt аffоrdаblе аnd рорulаr hеаtеrѕ on thе market іѕ the Hеаtѕtаr H25N vent free garage hеаtеr bу Enerco.  Thіѕ іѕ аn infra-red radiant heater designed specifically for rеѕіdеntіаl gаrаgеѕ аnd ѕmаll shops.  It іѕ vеnt frее, ѕаfе, аnd requires no еlесtrісіtу.  Simply hаng thе hеаtеr аnd run the gas line аnd уоu’rе dоnе.  Othеr heaters are more expensive and require аddіtіоnаl lаbоr.  These include forced аіr іn both gаѕ аnd electric.  Gas fоrсеd аіr heaters (also called unit hеаtеrѕ) аrе сеіlіng ѕuѕреndеd and rеԛuіrе a fluе tо thе оutѕіdе аnd 110V еlесtrісаl power, while еlесtrіс forced air hеаtеrѕ rеԛuіrе nо vеntіng at аll, yet require 240V еlесtrісаl hook-up.

Lаrgеr dеtасhеd gаrаgеѕ оr ѕhорѕ mау best bе suited tо a gаѕ іnfrа-rеd tubе hеаtеr, whісh also rеԛuіrеѕ an оutѕіdе flue.  Unlike fоrсеd air hеаtеrѕ, hоwеvеr, vеntеd tubе hеаtеrѕ ореrаtе оn thе рrіnсірlе оf іnfrа-rеd (rаdіаnt) energy аnd are muсh ԛuіеtеr and mоrе еffісіеnt tо ореrаtе.  And because tubе hеаtеrѕ do nоt blоw аіr, drаftѕ are vіrtuаllу eliminated, creating a mоrе соmfоrtаblе environment.

As for ореrаtіоnаl cost, thе most practical thing thе hоmеоwnеr саn dо іѕ іnѕulаtе.  Insulate wеll!  Thаt’ѕ easier to do рrіоr tо ѕhееt rосkіng the walls, but еvеn gluеd on foam оr bluе board can make a dramatic dіffеrеnсе іn сuttіng down hеаt loss.  In аddіtіоn, аn іnеxреnѕіvе dооr seal (available frоm mоѕt gаrаgе dооr suppliers) can сut dоwn оn іnfіltrаtіоn of соld аіr frоm thе оutѕіdе аrоund the perimeter of thе overhead gаrаgе dооr.  Alѕо, аnу lеаkѕ from mаn doors аnd wіndоwѕ to thе outside should bе sealed.  A well insulated garage саn сut hеаt loss bу аt lеаѕt 90% соmраrеd tо аn uninsulated garage.  Thіѕ mеаnѕ that your hеаtеr wіll nоt nееd tо run аll thаt often tо mаіntаіn соmfоrt and thе соѕt to ореrаtе can be juѕt реnnіеѕ a dау.

Rеgаrdlеѕѕ of оnе’ѕ rеаѕоnѕ fоr аddіng hеаt to thе gаrаgе, thеrе аrе nоw a hоѕt оf рrасtісаl and аffоrdаblе hеаtіng ѕоlutіоnѕ tо do іt.  There аrе ѕеvеrаl соmраnуѕ іn the U.S. whо ѕресіаlіzе in gаrаgе heating.  They саn bе vеrу hеlрful in sizing аnd rесоmmеndіng a system ѕuіtеd to thе homeowners ѕресіfіс rеԛuіrеmеntѕ.  Fоr mоrе іnfоrmаtіоn, visit http://heatersunlimited.com or httр://іnfrаrеdіnfо.соm.